This has always been a problem for Obama and is actually reflects a longstanding tension in the American progessivism. Recall Woodrow Wilson's claim that the Constitution, with its separation of powers and checks and balances on government action was outdated and that progressives must insist that it be interpreted "according to Darwinian principle" so that the organs of government be permitted "quick cooperation ... [and]ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence ...." Those instincts and that intelligence were to be of the expert class. In response to the New Deal, Walter Lippman, who contributed to the very attitude that he later came to question, wrote that:
...men who call themselves communists, socialists, fascists, nationalists, progressives and even liberals, are unanimous in holding that government with its instruments of coercion must by commanding the people how they should live, direct the course of civilization and fix the shape of things to come ... [T]he premises of authoritarian collectivism have become the working beliefs, the self-evident assumptions, the unquestioned axioms, not only of the revolutionary regimes. but of nearly every effort which lays claim to being enlightened, humane and progressive."
The Democrats' reaction to the quite understandable criticism of the Obama healthcare has had a petulant and wounded ring. How can you be so ungrateful? Pelosi calls protesters "Unamerican" and critics "almost immoral." Obama wants critics to "stop talking." The White House wants "fishy" comments on ObamaCare reported to a White House website. No, I don't think that the administration is planning an auto-de-fe against health care critics("it's what you oughtn't to do, but you do anyway"), but there is something offputting about all of this.
Shut up and let us help you! Not a theme calculated to endear or persuade.
The current way of delivering health care is said to be ruining the nation. The problem with that as a claim is that it provides an overwhelming majority of people with what they want. Yes, we would like it to be cheaper and there is a fair amount of health care anxiety. We certainly have an accessibility problem, but one that is not as grave as it is claimed to be. Insurance companies can behave badly, but the vilification of insurance companies is an old trial lawyers trick. No one likes to be told "no" and insurance companies necessarily "adjust" claims. In any event, insurance, in the traditional sense, is increasingly a smaller part of the current system. And a government payer will "adjust" claims too. It will have to. You pay for specified coverage not for anything and everything you want.
But the larger problem here is that Obama has run into Americans stubborn refusal to believe that the chattering classes know what's best for them or that government provision of goods and service don't provide problems of their own. He has exacerbated those perceptions with an incredibly expensive and failed stimulus plan that was a text book proof of what public choice theory tells us about the hijacking of government programs. He took over a couple of car companies and gave huge chunks of them to the unions that were large causes of their economic woes. He proposed - and pushed through - an economically strangling cap and trade bill that no one could have even read before passage.
He could have an insurance exchange tomorrow but he stubbornly insists on a public option that has been demonstrated to be quite problematic. Drop the public option and he has a bill. Keep it and I'm not sure he does. His Nibs has big plans for you and he is not happy with your skepticism.